I had the pleasure of attending the “Foundations of Joy and Love for Children” six hour training seminar this past weekend. Iowa requires a minimum of twelve clock hours of in class training every two years. I was able to get half of those done in one day!
The class was hosted by the Sheraton Hotel in West Des Moines. It is a sweet hotel with a large conference room to accommodate a large group of providers from every avenue of childcare.
Whenever I go to training I’m as interested in how childcare providers are trained as I am in the content of the training. Applebaum’s did a really good job in picking out eight different broad childcare issues and devoting a decent amount of time in each area without overloading you in specific content. They had products available for purchase to compliment their training should you want to get more detailed training in these core subjects.
The speaker, Neil Dorfman, M.Ed, was dynamic. He’s definitely doing a job he’s meant to do. He’s the kind of guy you would love having over for a barbeque and just listen to him talk story. He has a great balance of interweaving his personal experience and education into new strategies for all types of providers in homes, school, and center based care.
I would have enjoyed hearing Applebaum’s viewpoints on more home daycare specific issues. I think there are some principles of parent communication that work well when you are a teacher for a large group of children in a school or a center that just don’t work when the parent sitting across the table from you is paying one fifth of your income that week.
They teach a technique about sharing worrisome information to parents where the provider should say to the parent “your child is special to me and I I want your child to be successful”. I agree with the “I want your child to be successful” but not so much with the “your child is special to me”. When a parent hears “your child is special to me” they can quickly respond with “DO special for him”.
I’m not saying that you shouldn’t communicate daily to the parents that the child is important to you but I think it’s a slippery slope to bring up “special” on the front end of conflict resolution. It can muddy up the solution with emotional one to one care expectations that are not workable in a group of young multi-aged kids being cared for by one adult. I think offering your admiration and care for the child needs to be done daily so when conflicts arise you have that foundation built into the parents understanding of your perspective.
That was my only strong disagreement with the training. There were many things I thought were very valuable and gave good takeaways to put into my childcare and give me things to think about. The thing I liked the most about the training was their “Design On A Dime” ideas. They have some brilliant free or near free activities for centers, classrooms, and home care providers. What you will learn by attending will more than pay for the price of admission.